36.Supplementary memorandum from Values
Into Action (MIB 1218)
Mark Brookes and I would like to thank you and
the members of the Joint Committee for your interest and attention
at the oral evidence session on 2l October. We also wish to provide
the following clarification of some of the points we made.
1. The general authority would make lawful
what currently happens unlawfully. It would also remove the few
safeguards that now exist for people whose carers (whether family
members or professionals) regard them as lacking capacity.
2. Decision making is a process, not an
event. Supported decision making takes people through that process,
whatever their degree of disability, by enabling them to identify
and indicate their preferences, views and choices. Substitute
decision making, by contrast, merely substitutes the views of
3. Our research has shown that collective
decision making provides monitoring and safeguarding, as well
as sharing the burden of responsibility. Decisions for others
should be taken together by at least two people and preferably
three, for example, by a family member, a paid carer and one other,
perhaps a friend or a health or social services professional.
4. A right to advocacy should be on the
face of the Bill. This would not require that every person deemed
to lack capacity should have an independent advocate allocated
to them, but would merely give them a right of access to an advocate.
It would not have the severe financial implications feared by
the Joint Committee.
I hope these points are helpful. I would be
happy to provide any further information or clarification that
may be required.
Dr Jean Collins